Accessing VirtualBox client from host

Assuming that you are a developer on Windows that run a VirtualBox instance for a server, you might find it difficult to browse/access the “virtual” server that are running as a client. Here’s an example of the config required for standard HTTP, HTTPS and SSH, you can easily expand for other services as needed. Example assumes that your client is named “Ubuntu64”, you need to change appropriately for each client.

NOTE: if you are using a Linux host, the commands are similar.

cd C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox
VBoxManage.exe setextradata "Ubuntu64" VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/ApacheHTTP/HostPort 80
VBoxManage.exe setextradata "Ubuntu64" VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/ApacheHTTP/GuestPort 80
VBoxManage.exe setextradata "Ubuntu64" VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/ApacheHTTP/Protocol TCP
VBoxManage.exe setextradata "Ubuntu64" VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/ApacheHTTPS/HostPort 443
VBoxManage.exe setextradata "Ubuntu64" VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/ApacheHTTPS/GuestPort 443
VBoxManage.exe setextradata "Ubuntu64" VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/ApacheHTTPS/Protocol TCP
VBoxManage.exe setextradata "Ubuntu64" VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/Tomcat/HostPort 8080
VBoxManage.exe setextradata "Ubuntu64" VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/Tomcat/GuestPort 8080
VBoxManage.exe setextradata "Ubuntu64" VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/Tomcat/Protocol TCP
VBoxManage.exe setextradata "Ubuntu64" VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/SSH/HostPort 22
VBoxManage.exe setextradata "Ubuntu64" VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/SSH/GuestPort 22
VBoxManage.exe setextradata "Ubuntu64" VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/SSH/Protocol TCP
VBoxManage.exe getextradata "Ubuntu64" enumerate

NoMachineNX – SSH Remote Desktop for Linux/Unix

I’ve used a variety of means to connect to remote machines. Long ago, PCAnywhere was common place, later replaced by VNC and Windows Remote Desktop (RDP). As I’ve migrated nearly all of my work to Ubuntu, I’ve found that VNC is generally too slow, and SSH alone only gives access to my command line environment. NX over SSH allows for efficiently visual access to my entire desktop and all accessories remotely, regardless of my client system.

Setup on the server/host system only takes a few minutes, but is only available on Linux and Solaris. Installation of SSH on the host is required first.

Setup of the client is even easier, and is available for Linux, OS/X and Windows.

NOTE: A “NX Free Edition” is available for use.


Enable .htaccess on Apache HTTPD Server

Occasionally, there becomes a need to expose the use of the .htaccess file to the domains hosted on your Apache server. This technique is particularly useful when you host websites for external clients (or developers).

The steps to enable it are relatively easy,

  • Uncomment the ‘httpd.conf’ line that reads as:

    LoadModule rewrite_module modules/

  • Review (and replace as appropriate) all cases of :

    AllowOverride None with AllowOverride All

    in the following files:
    httpd.conf, /extra/httpd-vhosts.conf, /extra/httpd-autoindex.conf and any related files you may be using.

  • Add the .htaccess file into the appropriate websites/folders
  • Restart the server to accept the changes

NOTE: If you develop or host on Windows, you’ll likely have problems creating the file because there is no filename, just a file extension. You can create (or download) it from any non-Windows host and use it without additional changes. Apache does let you use a different filename, but you also need to be careful to update related security configuration that is used to prevent download of such files.

Happy hosting!